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PROFILE (WINTER 2009) -- KARI SEITZ: OLYMPIAN SOCCER REFEREE Home » Magazine » Archives » Winter 2009 » Article

By Robert Bao
Published: Winter 2009
PROFILE (WINTER 2009) -- KARI SEITZ: OLYMPIAN SOCCER REFEREE Since 1999, when FIFA, soccer’s governing body worldwide, approved her as an international referee, she has worked at the last three World Cups and the last two Summer Olympics—including the Beijing Games last summer. These selections clearly signal that Kari Seitz-VarnHagen, ’92, ranks at the very top of her profession. “For me, the Olympics is the most important event,” says Seitz, who lives in San Mateo, CA, and is media director at Grey San Francisco, an advertising agency. “You live a dream being invited to represent your country. It’s unbelievable.” A native of Brighton, Kari had not intended to attend MSU. “But I took a tour of campus, and was hooked,” she recalls. “MSU had just the right feeling. I never looked at another school.” She did not make MSU’s soccer team. “I was a goalkeeper and only 5-foot-4,” she explains. But through her roommate, Kari got involved in theater. “I was a stage hand, did publicity work, and once even performed as a dancer on stage,” she recalls. “It was a confidence builder. The wonderful thing about MSU is that you get exposed to so many programs that are rich socially and academically.” As a student, Kari refereed soccer games around the state, both at the high school and college level. After graduation she was in Chicago five years before moving to the Bay Area. As one of only four women international referees in the U.S.—the maximum allowed by FIFA per country—Kari needs to constantly work on her craft. “I am really fortunate to have a wonderful career and be able to represent the U.S.,” she says. “Referees run as much as the players. We have to pass physical tests that are very strenuous.” # # # Profile_KariSeitz_Suit.jpg Profile_KariSeitz_BeijingLogo.jpg (Combine photos?)
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